What really happens when you take two boys, 9 and 4, to a world-class art gallery? Last Friday, I took my oldest out of school early, and we headed to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. to find out. As I sifted through afterwards for the best, most beautiful images, I realized that simply wouldn't be the truth. THIS is the honest reality of kids in a gallery. Here are the outtakes, the in-betweens, of what really goes on when some parents try to instill a little culture into their kid's lives.
Giggling, gawking, and some honest questions at all the naked ladies, gents, and babies. (cupids.)
The "8 minute into it exaggerated leg stretch" and "can we go Mommy" hand gesture. (Actually I think Knox was actually trying to show me something! WIN!)
"It's not Monet, it's CLAUDE Monet, Mommy." Says the 4-year-old who's taken 3 after school art classes.
Photobombs and LOTS of pretended excitement.
There were LOTS of convenient couches, and my kids found ALL of them. Notice the rapidly-evacuating fellow patron...
Skimming by the Van Gogh.
Let's just go ahead and give the docent a heart attack... (for the record, we only got yelled at once! WIN!)
Titled: Is This Fun or What?! Also titled: Or What.
Gliding by the Raphael.
Suddenly, outside, new-found energy for running, skipping and dancing!!!
Outside, all is relaxation and contentment.
Finally, allowable climbing and jumping.
So what's the deal? Is art wasted on the young? If our youngest and most honest selves don't appreciate it, is there anything to appreciate? I think my boys did appreciate it in their own ways, especially for it being the end of the day, and an especially warm museum. My oldest loved all the naked bronze statues from ancient Greece. My youngest was fascinated by the graphic depictions of the crucifixion. They certainly didn't love what I thought they'd love. But we all learned, we as parents learned more about our boys, and we enjoyed some time exploring together. And despite the docent smack-down and the $100 parking ticket, we WILL return, boys in tow. Because sometimes they just don't know what's good for them. :)